Kāyastha or Kayasth (Hindi: कायस्थ, meaning scribe or administrator) is an upper caste of India. They have a dual-caste status, that is, they can be Brahmin and Kshatriya, and occupy North, East and Central India. Other kayastha groups are found in Maharashtra and South India.
Kaysthas belong to higher upper caste in India,though believed to be evolved as inter-caste marriages. According to Hindu Vedic Scriptures the Kayastha trace their genealogy from Lord Chitragupta. It is said that after Lord Brahma had created the four Varnas (Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas and Shudras), Yama (Dharamraj) requested Lord Brahma to help him record the deeds, both good and evil, of men, and administer justice.
According to Hindu Vedas, Lord Brahma went into meditation for 11000 years and when he opened his eyes he saw a man holding a pen and ink-pot in his hands, as well as a sword girdled to his waist. Lord Brahma spoke: Thou hast been created from my body (Kaya), therefore shall thy progeny be known as the Kayasthas. Thou hast been conceived in my mind (Chitra) and in secrecy (gupta), thy name shall also be Chitragupta. Brahma then enjoined him to dispense justice and punish those who violated the dharma. Thus, the Kayasthas were accorded a dual caste, Brahmin/Kshatriya. SEE NOTES
In the legends of Chitragupta, he is referred to as the greatest King, while the rest are "Rajakas," or little kings.
In the Garud Purana, Chitragupta is hailed as the first man to give the script.
"Chitragupta namastubhyam vedaksaradatre" (Obeisance to Chitragupta, the giver of letters) The Rig Veda mentions an invocation to be made to Chitragupta before offering sacrifice. There is also a special invocation to Chitragupta as Dharmraj (Lord of Justice) to be made at the performance of shradh or other rituals.
"Om tat purushaya vidmahe Chitragupta dhimahi tena lekha prachodayata." The priests also pay reverence to Shri Chitragupta :
"Yamam Dharmarajya Chitraguptaya vain namah."'
The Kayastha who are represented by the "Kayats" or the hereditary caste of the scribes of the present day, formed originally a sub-military class. The Anthropological Survey of India conducted a survey during the British Raj which concluded that the Kayastha community were also influential during the Mauryan period as administrators. Also, many proof have been found that the Hindu Kings used to grant lands to the Kayasthas, a practise enjoyed only by a particular caste. Also, it is but logical to consider the status of the Kayasthas when Sanskrit was the state language under the Hindu Kings.
The Kayastha were one of the most influential Caste in Kashmiri politics around 7th century. The economic status of the Kayastha community bettered than that of other castes when the Muslims conquered India. Other Indian castes would typically not find employment under the Muslim rulers, as they could not learn the Muslim languages of Persian, Arabic and later Urdu. On the other hand, the Kayastha community as a whole traditionally put a lot of emphasis on education and prospered during the Islamic period of India. Many Kayasthas were forced to convert to Islam in this period and adopted the title Shaikh.
The 13 clans of Brahman Kayastha:(Pandit)
Kayasthas worship ShreeChitraguptaji and on Bhai-Dooj, they celebrate Kalam-Dawaat Pooja (pen, ink-pot and sword worship), a ritual in which pens, papers and books are worshipped. This is the day when Shree Chitraguptji was created by Lord Bramha and Yamaraj got relieved of His duties and used this leave to visit His sister Devi Yamuna; hence the whole world celebrates Bhaiya dooj on this day and the Kayastha celebrate ShreeChitraguptajayanti, i.e. the 'Birthday' of their progenitor.
By worshipping Chitragupta who is their ancestor, kayasthas have the singular distinction of being the only "Ancestor-worshipping" sect of Hinduism.
It is believed though not yet proved that Kayasthas of holy towns like Prayag, Mathura, Varanasi, etc. are purely vegetarians, while in other areas they may be mixed. It is said that Kayasthas started eating meat during the Muslim period when they socially mixed with the Muslims. It is also said that Kayasthas have the poorest eating sense, because amongst Hindus, Kayasthas add the largest varieties of food to their diet.
Dhyan Chand, the best hockey player of India, brought Gold Medal for India in 1936 Berlin Olympics, playing bare feet and made Hitler to rise from his chair and leave the final in desperation, in this Olympics.Dr Rajendra Prasad rose to become the first President of the Republic of India, . Dr Sampuranand was the first Chief Minister of U.P. and Governor of Rajasthan, besides being a literary figure. Jayaprakash Narayan brought down Indira Gandhi, Subhas Chandra Bose fought the British rule militarily. Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar, Satyendra Nath Bose and Jagdish Chandra Bose were eminent scientists. Munshi Prem Chand, Harivansh Rai Bachchan, Gurusaday Dutt a famous Bengali social worker, Satyendra Chandra Mitra a freedom fighter, Raghupat Sahai "Firaque" Gorakhpuri, Dr Vrindavan Lal Verma, Dr Ram Kumar Verma, Mahadevi Varma, Dr Dharm Vir Bharti and Amarkant have been men of letters. Swami Vivekanand and Maharishi Mahesh Yogi were philosophers. Alakh Kumar Sinha, C.I.E, O.B.E, was the first Indian Inspector-General of Police , his son Mithilesh Kumar Sinha, KPM, President's Police Medal, was the longest serving Inspector-General of Police and a noted philanthropist, and his grandson Gen. Aroti Dutt a famous Bengali social worker, S.K. Sinha, PVSM, has served as Indian Ambassador to Nepal, Governor of Assam and Governor of Jammu & Kashmir. Amitabh Bachchan and Shatrughan Sinha have excelled in the film world, Mukesh and Sonu Nigam in the world of music.vallalar great legend in tamil nadu.
Tuhin Srivastava, a proud Kayastha, has become a very famous man in the United States of America. Not only is he revered by others for his amazing cricketing abilities, he is also a future Nobel Prize winner in Econotrical Enginathematics. He is only inferior to his close friend Kunal Mukesh Patel, a Gujurati from Pleasanton, California. He has an IQ of 229 and invented the the first nano-dildo. Chandra Rajagopal is a guitarist who loves to eat coconut balls in rice.